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The Mental Health Officer Service

Orkney Islands Council has appointed a small team of Mental Health Officers (MHOs) offering a specialist service to people experiencing mental health issues and to other professionals involved in their care. MHOs are social workers who have undertaken additional specialist training in mental health and legislation in Scotland. MHOs in Orkney undertake this role alongside their main work for Orkney Health and Care.

Mental Health (Care and Treatment) Scotland Act 2003

MHOs participate in the Mental Health Officer On Call System. This is a round the clock service where the MHO on duty can be contacted via the Community Mental Health Team during office hours and the Balfour Hospital switchboard outside of office hours.

The Duty MHO carries out an assessment, usually at the request of a doctor, regarding the need for compulsory detention in hospital. The MHO considers alternatives to detention and where necessary consents to statutory detention.

Adults with Incapacity (Scotland) Act 2000

MHOs are involved in actions to safeguard the welfare, finances and property of those who lack capacity as a result of a mental disorder.

A mental disorder can be mental illness, learning disability or brain impairment as a result of injury or dementia. People over 16 who cannot make their own decisions because of the above are deemed to have incapacity under the Act.

Orkney Islands Council MHO’s may:

We Also


Contact Information

MHOs are not available for contact directly by members of the public. MHOs will be contacted by a GP, hospital doctor or police surgeon when they are required to contribute to an assessment.

School Place, Kirkwall, Orkney, KW15 1NY

Telephone: 01856 873535

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Orkney Islands Council: BOREAS DOMUS MARE AMICUS